Jun 13, 2016

Five year wait for signalling system on Western Railway, Central Railway

The proposed Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC), a sophisticated signalling system, on the Harbour line would improve its punctuality and services by 40 per cent. However, both the Central Railway’s (CR) mainline and Western Railway (WR) are a long way from reaping benefits of such a system themselves, as it would take at least five years for separate lines for passenger trains that ply on these lines to be put in place — a requirement for the CBTC.
Furthermore, even if these lines were to get a CBTC system, the advantage will be limited to a maximum of only 20 per cent, according to officials.

The Railway Board has claimed that the CBTC, which has been included for the Harbour line under the newly declared Mumbai Urban Transport Project III, would decrease the time between two services to three minutes and improve punctuality due to the seamless centrally integrated nature of the system.

Officials have said that the reason behind choosing Harbour is the fact that the line sees only suburban services while the CR’s mainline and WR sees traffic of long-distance and goods trains, due to which the full advantage of the CBTC cannot be realised. “Firstly, we expect the CBTC to increase the Harbour line’s punctuality and operational capacity by a good 40 per cent because of no interference of passenger trains. On the other hand a separate line for the other two, that is the 5th and 6th line for passenger trains, is a good four to five years away, so there is a big question mark over laying the CBTC there in the first place. Most importantly, even if these lines are fixed with the CBTC system, the advantage will be limited to a maximum of only 20 per cent,” said an official on the condition of anonymity.

This means that the other two lines might have to wait for almost two years after the CBTC system is in place at the Harbour line. The Harbour has also seen the highest increase in the number of services this year (22) while the mainline has been given only 14 new services and the WR has received none at all. “Commuters on the CR mainline and the WR will have to wait for at least an estimated two years or even more to see a big push in terms of relief via increased number of services. We have completely saturated these two systems so the only place where we can give some relief is the Harbour line, so we are doing the best we can,” the official further added.

SOURCE - asianage

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